Hypnotic Ch. 03byCia81©
I woke up and stretched, craning my head to look at the clock. Five pm. We'd been asleep for quite a while but I always needed more rest after my migraines, they took a lot out of me. Dav had probably had a long night watching over me. I snuggled back my new mate and sighed. I was enjoying the warmth when my stomach growled and I heard a chuckle behind me.
Dav was cuddled up to me, holding my back to his chest. I rolled over in his arms and looked up at him, one hand stroking his warm chest.
"I didn't know you were awake, did you even sleep?"
"For a bit, I haven't been up very long."
I brushed my fingers against his face, amazed at how smooth his skin was. I hadn't shaved in more than a day so I knew my face had to be covered in prickly stubble, but not his. His cheeks were smooth and soft. I liked it. My fingers traced up to the lines on his forehead from his frown. I tried smoothing them out, rubbing gently.
"You look like you're thinking hard," I said. "What's wrong?"
"Nothing's wrong. Just thinking about work." His eyes looked away and he shifted uncomfortably. I was silent for a minute as I considered letting him get away with what I could feel was a lie. It was weird, feeling his emotions. I shelved the thought that he would be able to read me just as well. I wasn't as comfortable with that realization but I had more important things to focus on.
There was no way thoughts of his work would bring out the feelings of shame I could feel in him. Keeping secrets in our relationship might be hard with this two way emotional mind tap we had going on but that might be a good thing. We barely knew each other in a lot of ways. Knowing how he felt, being able to feel the warmth of his love would make up for a lot. It wouldn't make up for him lying to me.
"Dav, I know that's not true. How are you ever going to learn to really trust me if you're not honest with me?" I asked him quietly. "Give me a chance to understand."
He rolled onto his back and covered his face with one arm. I snuggled up to his side and put my chin on his chest. My hand stroked his side softly as I watched Dav's facial expressions shift as he wrestled with what must have been some serious inner demons. I kept silent, knowing I had to wait and see if he would open up to me on his own. I couldn't make Dav trust me; he had to make that step on his own.
I barely heard him when he finally spoke. "I was weak Ellis. I've never broken down in front of anyone before, never admitted to having those moments. That you saw me like that--"
"But I'm your mate," I protested. "Everyone has moments when they need someone else to tell them it will be okay."
His arm came down and his eyes drilled into mine. "Never show weakness, Ellis. That is the only way I learned to survive as a child. I pushed away anything that made me feel, anything that could be used against me. If I hadn't. . . ." He shook his head, dropping it back to the pillow. "Anything less than total control was punished. If I scented of fear, I was weak enough to be challenged.
"I made it on my own because I never lost control; I never gave in. Strength is what earns you respect and creating fear in others keeps you safe. There is a reason why I am known as 'The Snake'. I have many enemies; any glimpse of weakness could get me killed," his breath caught, "could get you killed. I never want to put you at risk." He covered his eyes again. "I think it would be even worse would be to lose your respect."
Now I understood what I was feeling, even if it didn't make any sense. When I saw Dav, I saw a strong, sexy man, a successful business owner and a deadly warrior. I also saw a man who needed me. His iron will could only last for so long before he would lose whatever shred of humanity he had left. I had read about a few Carthera that had gone feral when they cut themselves off from their kind. Dav never had that support so he had no idea that breaking down in front of me was not a sign of weakness in my eyes. Nothing could be further from the truth.
I pulled his arm down.
"Look at me."
His eyes were filled with fear but he let me see it, feel it through the bond, without pulling back.
"Do you see me that way? As someone who is weak?" I asked him softly. "After all, we met because I couldn't even stand up on my own."
"No! Never. You can't help that I loved being able to hold and make you feel better. It made me feel good. But I am supposed to be strong. It is necessary; I need to be here for you." His arm went back over his face once again. "I worry that you will be ashamed of me as your mate."
"Gods, Dav. You have it so wrong. I could never feel ashamed that you let me see you when you need me the most. I didn't really understand just how much courage and strength it took for you to let me see you that way. That you turned to me and let me hold you," my voice broke and I had to take a deep breath, "I've never been with anyone who gave me so much of themselves as you have. It makes me feel needed to be here for you emotionally."
I reached up and tugged at the arm covering his face until he moved it away. I felt a tear sliding down my cheek as I stared deep into his eyes.
"I..." I paused, biting my lip but then I forced it out, ignoring the little voice that still wanted to scream 'too soon', "I love you."
Dav's eyes widened. We were frozen, locked into each other's eyes and emotions. Then he grabbed me and pulled me up to lie on his chest. I could feel his heart racing just as fast as mine. He pulled my head down and kissed me, his firm grip at odds with the gentle way his lips feathered across mine.
"I can feel it," he murmured against my lips. I opened my eyes and took his look of wonder. His eyes were wide and his lips were parted as he stared at me. His hands gripped my hair and pulled my head down into a kiss that consumed me. My entire world shrank down to the hands clenched in my hair and the tongue that danced wildly in my mouth. I was gasping when he finally let me pull back and breathe. It took me a few minutes to get my brain to remember what we had been talking about.
I peppered his face with small kisses, enjoying the warm, smooth skin. "What do you feel?"
"Love. You really do love me and I can feel it. It's an amazing feeling because," he marveled, "no one has ever said they loved me before. It makes me feel... warm inside."
My eyes filled with more tears and my heart hurt. I buried my face in his neck and just held on to him.
"Hey, what did I say? You feel sad now. Did I make you sad? I'm sorry," he said anxiously, his hand patting at my back.
I shook my head. "Not like that," I said, my voice thick with the tears I held in. "I'm just sad that you have lived this long without anyone loving you."
He shrugged under me uncomfortably. "I didn't know what it was before so I didn't know how it would feel. If I had to wait thirty three years to find you it was worth it Ellis." He lifted his head and kissed me harder than before, slipping his tongue in my mouth. The two sides split and he caressed my tongue with the twin points until I was moaning and squirming on top of him. I pulled away with a gasp, intending to push back the covers and show him how good my tongue could be when my stomach decided to let out an angry growl. I sat up on my knees with a groan.
"Sorry," I muttered in embarrassment.
Dav laughed softly, his hands squeezing my hips. "Let's get you something to eat!" He let go of me, and I rolled over on the bed, watching as he gracefully slipped out of bed and started getting dressed.
"Aren't you getting up?"
Dav turned to look at me when I didn't answer. He was leaning over me before I could blink. "What is it?"
'Your back," I whispered in shock. "It has scales on it. Those weren't there this morning."
Dav grinned and relaxed. "Bond marks. Snakes don't change much from their birth forms when they mate like other Carthera do but we all get the signs of our clans on our backs when we form that bond with a mate."
I scooted up in the bed and turned him so that his back was facing me fully. My hand reached down to where the scales disappeared into his unbuttoned jeans and then slowly slid up his back.
"They're so smooth. What clan are you? Your scales are all yellow, black, white and brown."
"Wait," I said, "Python clan members don't have fangs with venom sacks."
"My mother was a cobra, my dad was a python. That is why I have traits of both."
"That's why you have this hood." My hands traced the flared sections that covered his shoulder blades. Large black and white spots on either side of his spine looked like eyes staring back at me. He shrugged.
I gasped. "Oh!"
"What?" Dav reached back and pulled one of my hands to his chest, holding it tight. "Ellis? What's wrong now?"
"They're rainbow colored." My free hand stroked the scaled pattern. "When you moved and the light hit them from the windows, they were shined blue, purple, and green colors. Sort of like how an oil slick shines on the pavement. I love it."
"I'm glad," he said as he met my eyes in the mirror in front of him, "because you have it too."
My mouth fell open. "No way!" I tried twisting around but I couldn't see my back. "How do you know?" How could something appear on my body and I not know about it? It was... maybe if I...
Dav turned and his hands landed on my shoulders, holding me to him. The grip stopped me from trying to twist around again in my panic. I let him hold me to his chest, breathing in his scent in quick breaths.
"Calm down. Look in the mirror behind me, the two you have in here line up. I can see mine in the reflection so you can probably see yours too." His hands stroked my shoulders until I calmed down enough to look.
I'd never had the courage to mark my body even a little, not even the tattoo Matthew dared me to get one drunken night but now... now I had scales. The vibrant markings started at the cleft of my ass and trailed up my spine to flare into a hood across my shoulders, identical to Dav's markings. His fingers were tracing the outer edges and I shivered.
I also couldn't stop staring.
"Am I going to change in other ways too? I asked nervously.
"I don't think so. These are bonding marks. If we were both Snakes, you would have my clan markings on your back and I would have yours."
"So, because I'm a human, we both carry yours?"
Dav nodded. "I guess so. I've never actually seen a human mated to Snake before."
I frowned up at him. "Really? So you have no idea what could happen to me? What if I get... fangs?"
Dav looked hurt and his hands dropped from my shoulders. He took a step back. "I thought you were okay with me, with my differences--"
"I am!" I stopped him from speaking further with a hand across his lips. I brought my other hand up and cupped his cheeks. I tugged him down until he went on his knees before me.
"You need to hear me, Dav, and really listen. I'm not scared that you're a Snake. I think your fangs are hot, your eyes are exotic and beautiful and I could stare into them for hours. I love that you claimed me as your mate, as insane as it was after just meeting each other.
"Sex with you was the most amazing thing I have ever felt. When we bonded... The way we opened up to each other and shared was just... words aren't enough." I stared into his eyes. "Do you believe me when I say that I wouldn't want to change you for anything?" I asked softly.
I pushed my emotions toward him, hoping he'd feel the absolute honesty of my words as well as hear them. His eyes dilated and he gasped a little.
Dav blinked slowly. "I believe you," he whispered.
"Good, because no matter how many times I have to say it, no matter how much you have to hear it, I won't ever stop letting you know that I want you." My grip tightened on his face and I leaned so that his eyes were all I could see. "If that means I have to do some changing, I'm okay with that. I just might need a little bit of time to get used to it. Okay?"
Dav's nod was all I needed. I closed the last few inches between us and kissed him. It was like the room was instantly filled with an electric heat. My heart began to pound as he let me thrust my tongue into his mouth over and over, sucking and caressing it with every push into his mouth. I grabbed his shoulders and lay back, pulling him onto the bed on top of me.
"I thought you were hungry," he said against my lips.
I thrust my hips against his, my bare skin chafed so perfectly by the rough fabric of his pants.
"Oh, I am."
"Hmm, this seems familiar," Dav said with a grin as he stood up to get dressed again. "Are you getting out of bed this time Ellis?"
"I will," I said with a grin, "I'm just enjoying the view first."
"Perv," he said as he pulled his jeans up. He reached over and lightly slapped my stomach. "Get up!
"Ugh." My muscles jumped as I flinched away from the blow. "Not nice! You could bring me food in bed again. I worked up quite the appetite."
"Don't be lazy, and that was a just love tap. I want to go eat, all this energy I'm expending around you is making me hungry."
I sighed dramatically. "But it's so much fun doing it." I grinned and rolled off the other side of the bed when he moved toward me with a calculating look on his face. "Alright, alright, I'm getting up!" I had no idea what he would do but I really didn't think I'd enjoy it as much as I had the last hour.
My stomach rumbled as I rummaged around in my dresser and closet, pulling on some comfortable jeans and a long sleeve shirt. It was almost seven and if I had been hungry before, I was starving now. I picked up his sweats I had worn home.
"You want to take these home?"
Dav shook his head. "I don't mind leaving them here," he said without looking at me.
I dropped them on the bed and walked up to him, giving him a hug. "You could bring more over if you want, you know."
Dav shrugged, and then he laughed. "This is just weird. I've never done this before. Having a relationship where we combine our stuff."
"Really?" Dav seemed a tad skeptical.
It was my turn to shrug. "I'm twenty six. I've had boyfriends but no one I ever wanted to move his stuff in. Usually the idea alone made me uncomfortable. It's different with you though. I like the thought of your clothes mixed in with mine."
Dav's eyes were full of heat. "I like the idea of some of my stuff here too," he paused, "You could bring some stuff to my place too."
I laughed. "Sure, I have an extra toothbrush lying around."
I gave him a quick peck on the lips. This relationship stuff would work out. Sure, it was fast. Lightning fast really, but it felt good, like it was right. I was still sure of my decision to go with what we were doing and trusting the mate bond we now shared.
"Do you want to go out to eat or eat here?" I asked Dav in the kitchen.
"I'm not sure. What do you have? I'm not super hungry, but I could eat. I feel like steak right now actually, but I could have something else too."
"I've been working a lot lately, picking up a few extra shifts at the hospital. Not really sure what's here. I've either been eating with Charlie or at work."
Dav opened the fridge and looked inside. I moved over to the counter by the living room.
"I just need to check my messages and call my doctor." Dav's head popped up over the door with a concerned look on his face. "His office is open weekends and he should be able to get me some of my prescription until I can get to the pharmacy."
"That would be good. We need to talk about your headaches."
I shrugged. "Not much to talk about. About two or three years ago I started developing these awful migraines. They've grown steadily worse, and the pills my doctor has me taking are the only medicine that helps me when I get them."
Dav frowned. "They couldn't find a reason for them?"
"Some people just have migraines. It sucks, but I didn't respond to any sort of preventative treatment. I went in just last week actually since my pills were getting low. My doctor wanted to run some tests, see if he could find something that would work better for my type of migraine."
"There are different types of migraines?" Dav shut the fridge door, not even pretending to look anymore. I knew there wasn't really anything in there anyway; I really needed to go shopping.
"Sure. Mine is categorized as a vertebrobasilar migraine. That means it starts in the brain stem and I get what are called 'auras' or double vision when I get my headaches. Sometimes I just can't see at all and other times it's just that the pain is so severe I black out."
Dav's frown got deeper. "In your brain stem? That sounds dangerous."
I sighed and nodded. "It can be. It can lead to permanent blindness and other problems. Also, the migraines can damage the vessels in the brain and put me at risk for a stroke. My whole head feels like it will explode when I have them."
Dav moved over to me and wrapped his arms around me, pulling me into him. "I don't like that. Why haven't they helped you more? Did you tell Dr. Pannar? Has he looked at you?" His arms tightened almost painfully as he shot questions at me.
I sighed and let Dav snuggle me as I breathed in his scent and the feel of his arms around me, even if it hurt a little. "He knows, yes. But Dav, there isn't anything anyone can do. I try to avoid situations that can trigger them, like flashing lights or loud music, any blows to the head, certain food or drinks like alcohol and anything with too much caffeine."
"We'll figure out something. In the meantime, let's see about getting you some more medication and then we can go get something to eat. What can you eat? Maybe we should pick up something from the store and take it back to my place. We can cook there."
I laughed. "There are a lot of things I can eat, jeez. Don't freak out. I have to avoid foods rich with nitrates like hot dogs and lunch meats. Also, stuff with tannin like chocolate," I made a pouty face at that; I did like dark chocolate, "and tea is bad for me. Nuts, hard cheeses... I said alcohol before.
"It sounds like a lot but if I stick to nice lean meats, whole grains and fruits and vegetables my diet isn't too restricted. Plus ice cream. Cold stuff can trigger migraines for some people but I don't have any trouble with it, thankfully. Everyone around me would be in real trouble if I couldn't have my vanilla ice cream," I laughed.
"Vanilla ice cream huh?" Dav smirked. "I'll make sure to get some. I wouldn't want to be in trouble."
"Okay, okay, let me call and we can go. I know this great burger and steak joint between here and your club. We can go there and you can get yourself a nice raw-ish steak."
It turns out my doctor was swamped with patients but he had standing orders for the staff to fill an emergency prescription for me whenever I needed it. I popped in to the office and paid for the pills, grimacing when I handed over the correct amount for a ten day supply. My insurance was okay but not great on prescriptions. Paying for my tests and medicine was about all I could afford extra this month.
"Got what you need?"
I showed Dav the bottle.
"Good. Let's go feed you now."
Lunch was pretty good. I had a nice chicken sandwich and Dav ate a steak so bloody I had to swallow and look away when he first cut into it.
"I thought chicken was your favorite." I sat back in my chair, sipping my water and watched him now that he was done eating his steak. He was picking through the steamed vegetables, carefully pushing the cauliflower aside with his fork. "Don't like cauliflower?"
He shook his head. "Not really. The flavor is weird, and it has a funky texture cooked too," he ate a bit of a pepper, "and I do like chicken but sometimes I just feel like eating red meat. Not very often though."